Service is treated as just another product (although intangible) by most individuals, and thus there should not be any difference in the marketing of services and the products. In fact, there is no major differentiation between the marketing tools employed for the marketing of both services and products such as sales promotion and advertising.
But there is a huge difference in the implementation methods and orientation of people in service marketing. Thus, there will be a requirement for a unique service marketing strategy.
While developing a unique service strategy, one of the most important aspects remains market segmentation. Once the segmentation and targeting are completed, appropriate service positioning can be considered the most vital aspect of an effective service marketing strategy.
Apart from this, in order to effectively deal with the four distinctive traits of the services such as intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, and perishability, marketers are required to develop unique strategies for each. In the end, the focus should be on the role of manpower in the overall service marketing strategy.
Target marketing is the process that is used for strategy development (or STP – Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning), and the various steps in it are shown in the figure given below.
1) Identifying Markets: Identification of the markets with unsatisfied needs is the initial stage in the target marketing process as the market segmentation can be developed based on unsatisfied needs and wants.
2) Determining Market Segmentation: Once the unsatisfied needs are determined, then a single segment is developed in which the people having similar types of unsatisfied needs are grouped together. There are two elements of segmentation:
- Identifying segmentation variables and segment the market.
- Profile development of resulting segments.
3) Selecting a Market for Target-market Targeting: The following activities are done:
- Analyzing the attractiveness of different segments.
- Selection of the target segment(s).
4) Positioning through Marketing Strategies: The various things which are included in market positioning are as below:
- Determining possible positioning concepts for various target segments.
- Selecting, developing, and communicating the selected concept of positioning.
Therefore, the effectiveness of the firms is more profound when they have a distinctive target market. The below-mentioned activities are involved in target marketing:
- Market segmentation (identification of market segments),
- Market targeting (selecting market segments), and
- Positioning the offerings (differentiating products and services).